A cracking and very traditional locals pub noted for its relaxing atmosphere and tip-top Thurston ales, which are brewed out the back in the pub's micro-brewery. Horsell Gold is hugely popular here and is also a favourite at The Inn.
The Inn West End West End, Surrey, GU24 9PW
THE PERSONAL TOUCH
Three miles from the M3 (junction 3) in a real desert when it come to decent pub food and comfortable rooms, Gerry and Ann Price’s recently spruced up Inn West End stands out and comes as a big surprise. The subtle, contemporary new inn sign depicting a tilted wine glass and Gerry’s adjoining wine shop, which has its own individual signage, are the only indications that beyond the rather ordinary exterior lies a stylish, yet informal set up, noted for a good wine list, great food and, since March 2015, twelve smart new bedrooms in a new-build stable block to the rear of the pub. Light, modern and airy throughout, expect wooden floors, pastel blue and green décor, tasteful fabrics, a warming open fire in the bar, crisp linen clothed tables in the newly extended dining area, and a relaxed, bustling atmosphere. Gerry and Ann’s passion for The Inn is huge and to re-invest and re-invent the place as a true ‘Inn’ after 15 years at the helm just shows how much they love running the place.
Children over 5 years are welcome to dine with their parents, choosing smaller portions from the main menu. Older children are only accommodated overnight by prior arrangement. There are no facilities for children or a children’s menu, or family rooms.
Dogs are welcome in the bar and can stay overnight in two of the rooms.
With the addition of the rooms the outside space has been transformed into a courtyard seating area, which doubles as a boules terrain replete with deck chairs, picnic tables and barbecue. The vine covered pergola remains a beautiful area for alfresco dining. How the Hamburg Muscat survived the building works remains a mystery but it is clearly thriving and will provide a fine crop for homemade chutney in the Autumn as well as shade in the meantime for fortunate diners. It’s a peaceful, sheltered spot, well away from the busy main road.
There’s a monthly quiz night and The Inn is big on charity events, raising money for Parkinsons. Gerry & Ann give the pub to the locals for a night for a raffle and auction and provide a 3-course dinner for £12.
The Inn West End West End, Surrey, GU24 9PW
Do not disturb
The Inn finally became a true inn in March 2015 following the completion of twelve boutique-style bedrooms located to the rear of the pub in a very smart stable block-style building, replete with clock tower and ranch-style fencing. Money has been lavished on the excellent build, the interesting and clever design, the quality fixtures and fittings, including Hypnos beds and Italian painted tiles in the posh wet rooms, and the extra detail touches such as gun safes and brilliant wi-fi. Randomly named after events, local places and wine experienced during Gerry & Ann’s time at The inn, they feature quirky statement wall coverings, super comfortable beds dressed in the best linen and down, oak furnishings and good storage, with larger rooms have space for armchairs. Now Bisley shooters and avid foodies have a place to lay their heads after delving deeper into Gerry’s wine collection over dinner.
Duck Island bathroom products; Hypnos mattresses.
Gun cupboards/safes; Free wi-fi & Gigabit Internet; Flatscreen HD TVs.
What’s for Breakfast?
Full English; kedgeree; eggs Florentine, Benedict or Royale; pancakes with home-made jam or fruit compote; porridge; 4oz sirloin steak with poached duck egg; smoked salmon and scrambled egg on brioche; bacon buttie; kippers grilled with lemon butter.
The Inn West End West End, Surrey, GU24 9PW
Mastering the menu
An imaginative monthly menu lists an eclectic range of modern British dishes, which are freshly prepared in the recently extended kitchen using as much local produce as possible, notably pork, lamb and venison reared in Windsor Great Park. If you don’t fancy pan-fried sea bass on celeriac and courgette remoulade with potato gnocchi and tomato, courgette and lemon salsa, then you can choose from the classic bar menu, which lists favourites like Cumberland sausages and mash with onion gravy, and fish and chips with crushed minted peas and tartare sauce, alongside pea risotto, chilled poached salmon with potato salad and lemon mayonnaise, and tempting fish and charcuterie sharing platters. Lunchtime sandwiches (steak and caramelised onion) come in dainty, doorstop or medium thickness sizes, and are served with game chips and salad.
On the menu
Chicken liver parfait, gooseberry two ways, toasted brioche
Ballotine of salmon, beetroot carpaccio, lemon cream
Roast cod loin, crushed peas, artichoke risotto, tomatoes, parmesan foam
Pork belly, creamed potatoes, baby vegetables, sage jus
Duck breast, bok choi, potato fondant, date and tamarind sauce
Zesty lemon tart, chocolate paint, lemon sorbet
Apple & peach crumble, caramelised custard, apricot sorbet
Selection of roasts with all the trimmings.
With a wine shop next to The Inn and plenty of contacts in the wine world, Gerry regularly hosts wine dinners and tastings, inviting growers/producers to talk about their vineyards and wines.
Time to Eat
Breakfast: 7.30am – 10.30am (from 8.30am at weekends)
Lunch: 12 noon – 2.30pm (3pm Sundays)
Dinner: 6pm – 9.30pm (9pm Sundays)
Local, local, local
Venison and game – Windsor Great Park & local shoots
Vegetables – some from local allotments
Honey from Chobham
Thurston Brewery, Horsell
Behind the bar
Yes, there’s real ale on tap, cracking beers like Fuller’s London Pride and local brews from Binghams (Twyford Tipple) and Thurston (Horsell Gold) micro-breweries, plus refreshing Aspall’s Suffolk Cyder, but the real reason why local drinkers (& foodies) beat a path to the door is for Gerry’s sublime wine list. The wine shop heaves with 500 glorious wines for you to take home, with many showcased on the pub’s list, notably wines from Iberia, alongside extensive Claret and Pinot Noir collections, as well as their own exclusive Portuguese ‘Labradouro’ (don’t ask!) range. In addition, you’ll find an impressive whisky shelf (30), a selection of 10 boutique gins, and organic soft drinks. If you buy wines from Gerry’s shop and wish to quaff them with you meals, then this can be done for a small corkage charge.
Time at the bar
11am – 11pm
Take it back home
Tour the brewery that brewed your favourite pint, visit the shop on the farm that reared your delicious Sunday roast beef, and seek out the roadside stalls selling the local crab and samphire on the inn’s menu, the Food Trail features the local artisan producers and suppliers where you can buy to enjoy at home.
Change of scenery
Looking for a pub for lunch following a country walk, a different venue for dinner, or a good café for coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, then the best in the area are listed below. If you find a new and exciting eatery in the area that’s worthy of a mention on the Food Trail, then please to do let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Inn Location - The Inn West End
Run by Barry & Linda Penhallow for over 9 years, the well-stocked farm shop is great for local produce including honey, chutneys, bread, pies and cakes from local bakers, free-range chicken, as well as more regular fruit and vegetables.
A great new cafe opened in late 2014 by friends of Inn owner Gerry Price. The Roost Cafe and Pantry is a hub for primal nutrition and supplies providing an oasis for health conscious individuals. Totally gluten freeâ€¦.
Situated on the edge of Home Park, this well-established farm shop sells a range of products from the Royal Farms on the Windsor Estate, including quality beef, pork, lamb and seasonal game from the estate shoots. Gerry at The Inn sources venison, pheasant, partridge and hare from the Estate. The farm shop also sells produce from small local specialist suppliers.
1 Inn Location - The Inn West End
Dating back to the 18th century and one of the best-loved racecourses in the world, Ascot is renowned for its thoroughbred racing. Royal Ascot Week in June is one of the country's key sporting and social events, attended by Her Majesty the Queen and other members of the Royal Family.
Founded in 1895 and situated near Brookwood, in 3,000 acres of Surrey heath and woodland, Bisley is Europe's largest sporting clay ground. Renowned for its expert tuition and excellent facilities, Bisley is just the place to try your hand at one of the country's fastest growing sports.
Saved from extinction in 1973, this preserved steam railway takes its name from the locally grown cress once transported from Hampshire to London by train. Services run for ten miles between Alton and Alresford and a trip on the line is a great way to recapture the atmosphere of a journey by steam train in the pre-Beeching age.
Head for Anthropologie in Guildford's cobbled High Street and you'll discover a unique world of gorgeous fashion, accessories and home decor. Trading on two floors, the shop is noted for its aspirational and arty ambience.
Established in 1977 and open every day, Guitar Village is where you'll find new, used and vintage guitars, basses, amps and effects. The shop is housed in one of the town's many handsome period buildings.
Here, in the sizeable village of Englefield Green, you can create a gift for someone special, choosing an item from a wide range of mugs, bowls, vases and egg cups. In the gallery's workshop you can personalize your purchase with your own design. Studio assistants are always on hand to help.
Melita Boutique at Chobham prides itself on being Surrey's leading occasion wear specialists. Expect the largest selection of top designers for stylish and sophisticated wedding outfits under one roof.
The Babylon Store is the place to go for lifestyle products for the home, all cherry picked to create a striking and highly individual style. Among many items, you'll find oak and reclaimed furniture, elegant wall art and a variety of home textiles.
This long-established department store specialises in ladies' and men's fashion, beauty products, toys and upscale homeware. Opened as a drapery business in 1881, Elphicks still trades from the same premises today. The store was founded on the principles of offering choice, quality, value, fun and something different to its customers.
Splendidly located opposite Windsor Castle, in the striking Grade II-listed Victorian railway station, this is where you can visit up to 40 individual retail outlets and an array of continental-style restaurants, cafes and bars. There’s also an arts and craft market open daily.
Places to visit
Founded in 1961, the Museum of Farnham explains in impressive detail the history of this fine Georgian town. Expect fascinating archaeological artefacts, nationally important artworks by local artists and a striking costume collection.
Situated near Guildford, Hatchlands Park is an intimate Georgian country house with parkland comprising ancient woodland and picturesque wildflower meadows. The house itself includes Europe's largest collection of keyboard instruments, several of which inspired the likes of Bach, Elgar and Chopin. Only six ground-floor rooms are open to the public.
The Royal Logistics Corps Museum tells the story of how the British Army has been sustained in peace and war, explaining to the visitor how a typical soldier has been fed, transported and supplied with arms and equipment. The museum highlights various lesser-known aspects of army life.
Open all year, Windsor Great Park stretches for an incredible five miles and offers vast stretches of tranquil countryside and parkland in one of the busiest parts of the country. One of the park's best-known landmarks is the Savill Garden, consisting of 35 acres of woodland, magnolias, rhododendrons and herbaceous borders.
Tucked away in a busy corner of the south-east of England, close to a network of well-used roads and motorways, is a tranquil world of unusual plants and beautiful flowers. In the care of the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley's mission is to share with its many visitors the best in gardening. Wisley may be a peaceful oasis but there's always plenty going on - from world-class flower shows to ground breaking, green-roof research.
In the care of English Heritage and only a couple of miles to the south-east of Farnham, Waverley Abbey is a charming ruin consisting of fragments of the church and monastic buildings of the first Cistercian Abbey in England, founded in 1128 by the Bishop of Winchester.
The sound of birdsong is one of the great pleasures of a stroll in Alice Holt Forest, south of Farnham. During early summer the distinct songs of warblers can be heard here. Butterflies are prolific and there is a rich variety of flora and fauna. Look out for deer as you stroll between Norway spruce and Corsican pine deep in the heart of the forest, once part of a royal hunting ground.
Looking at a map of south-east England, it seems impossible to believe that Surrey’s well-wooded acres lie so close to London. South of the M3 and the M25 you’ll find the North Downs spreading south to meet the more famous South Downs. From Woking as far as the English Channel is a seemingly endless choice of footpaths, byways and bridleways, allowing you to explore some of southern England’s finest and least spoilt scenery. Walking stretches of the 153-mile North Downs Way, which runs from Farnham to Canterbury via Dover, is the perfect way to appreciate this idyllic landscape. Alternatively, head north to Windsor Great Park where there is a multitude of rides, paths and drives to explore.
It may be a densely populated region of Britain but Surrey has many unspoilt swathes of countryside and large patches of woodland that are perfect for cycling.
Surrey has just about every kind of festival and event imaginable. As well as the arts, there are food festivals, farmers’ markets, beer tastings and wine tours. The summer is a busy time in the county and one of the highlights over the late-May Bank Holiday weekend is the Surrey County Show in Guildford. Between June and August is the Guildford Summer Festival, which has been running for over 30 years and includes cycle races, a craft fair, a cricket festival and a host of theatre, sport, art, music and walks. Wings and Wheels at the end of August is one of the UK’s most popular family days out. Staged at Dunsfold Aerodrome (home of the BBC’s Top Gear), the show offers a bewildering programme of dynamic aviation and motoring displays, iconic cars, and a variety of shopping and arena attractions.
Location, Location, Location
By Road: Beside A322 Bagshot to Woking road, 2 miles east of M3 (J3); opposite Gordon’s School in the centre of West End village.
42 Guildford Road,, West End, Surrey, GU24 9PW